Roland Turner

Yahi Haze Mapping
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28756E6B6E6F776E207573657229 == "(unknown user)". 28696E76616C6964207573657229 == "(invalid user)".

For the benefit of those finding these two strings in ssh audit logs. $ decode() { for n in $(echo "$1" | sed -r 's-..-& -g') ; do echo -ne '\x'$n done echo } $ decode 28756E6B6E6F776E207573657229 (unknown user) $ decode 28696E76616C6964207573657229 (invalid user) $ I can readily understand the desire to not present questionable usernames directly in audit log entries in order to prevent various injection attacks in viewing environments, and doing so by... (more)

I appear in 1,203 advertiser contact lists added to Facebook

In case anyone was unclear on the extent to which data brokers are disclosing personal data without any form of accountability to the people in question, do have a look at Facebook's list of advertisers "who use a contact list added to Facebook". The list can be found in Settings > Ads > Advertisers. Needless to say, I've never even heard of many of these people and can only guess that the enormous number of... (more)

Legally Obtaining IEEE 802 Standards Free of Charge

I am perhaps a little late to the party, but I've just noticed that IEEE 802-series standards are generally available free of charge upon request. This does not meet any of the requirements for Creative Commons, Free Software, or Open Source Software, (in particular you can't distribute them) but is at least a step up from having to fork out a lot of money. I am interested in particular in some of the details of... (more)

The Seven Properties of Highly Secure Devices

I've just noticed an interesting piece of work from Microsoft last year which both (a) identifies a minimum useful set of security properties for Internet-connected devices and (b) develops a working prototype with MediaTek to demonstrate how little change to an existing microcontroller is required to make this work. The selected set of properties feels about right: Hardware-based Root of Trust: Does the device have a unique, unforgeable identity that is inseparable from the hardware?... (more)

GDPR for Star Wars Fans

I felt a great disturbance in the Internet, as if millions of non-consensual direct-marketing lists suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened. -- Obi-Spam Kenobi, May 26, 2018. (more)

The Ones Who Walk Away from Facebook

TL;DR: I have started a long-term project to substantially reduce my use of Facebook and increase my engagement with friends elsewhere, rather than outright quitting. I am interested to know where others are with this. They leave Omelas, they walk ahead into the darkness, and they do not come back. The place they go towards is a place even less imaginable to most of us than the city of happiness. I cannot describe it at... (more)

Pan-privi-what now?

From time to time over the last several years, ideas have come to mind for blog posts on privacy, freedom, and security, particularly on the Internet. I have therefore been meaning for a while to start a blog on these topics. Recent events have finally given this project impetus enough to commence. The name Panprivicon is a play on Bentham's panopticon and concisely expresses my desire to live in a world where each of us... (more)

PDFtk awesomeness for scanning

Our office scanner has been cunningly designed so as to have an automatic document feeder, but to only be capable of scanning the upward-facing side of each page! Here are two PDFtk commands to help deal with this. Simple concatention: pdftk in*pdf cat output out.pdf Collation with the backs in reverse order, because when the stack is turned over to scan the backs, it scans the last page first: pdftk A=fronts.pdf B=backs.pdf shuffle A Bend-1... (more)

Word, "Changing the number format for this list updates the style"

None of the helpful guidance for this message from Microsoft Word pointed out that the underlying problem is that "Automatic Update" is turned on on various of the style elements in the template, so e.g. changing a bulleted list to a numeric list changes all of the lists in the entire document, but also numbering mysteriously fails to reset. Quite why anyone would do such a thing is a mystery to me, but the fix... (more)